Wrestlers transitioning to the big screen is a dicey proposition. Only a small few have successfully crossed over to make acting a second career. One such man is Batista. He’s put in the work to hone his craft, and it is being noticed by famous fans.
Chance the Rapper was caught by surprise with Batista’s skills.
Is there a specific reason why Dave Bautista is such a good actor? Did he act before WWE?— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) January 3, 2021
He was impressed by Batista being a whole thespian after watching the opening fight scene from Blade Runner 2049.
Chance brought up the issue on social media, which was answered by James Gunn. The Guardians of the Galaxy director added interesting insider perspective from working with Batista.
One of the things I deal with a lot with actors who have been a part of other performing arts (ie wrestling or comedy) is to get them to STOP JUGGLING and JUST BE. It’s not your job to entertain us - it’s simply your job to be present to the moment in front of you -— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 3, 2021
I hate falseness in an actor’s eyes. There are many big time movie stars who hurt movies for me because I can see the lying in their eyes - replacing acting with boasting, or thinking about themselves & what they’re going to do next,— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 3, 2021
I’d much rather work with @DaveBautista or Michael Rooker or @Dastmalchian or @MelchiorDaniela or @violadavis or @seangunn or @PomKlementieff or @cosio_joaquin or a many others who seem to always be present as a baseline: actors who have stopped seeking & started being.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 3, 2021
The praise did not fall on deaf ears. Batista appreciated the acknowledgement.
I dont usually share posts in praise of myself because I don’t like feeling like Im kissing my own ass but this is a respect factor that I’ve relentlessly worked for. And it’s from a director/friend I deeply respect and admire. I love the craft of acting.Thank you @JamesGunn ❤️ https://t.co/EybkTW6paw— Vice President Drax (@DaveBautista) January 3, 2021
Bringing it over to an angle for engagement with you Cagesiders, who is in your top 5 for best actors from professional wrestling?
My current top 5 unfolds as:
5. Steve Austin
4. Jesse Ventura
3. Roddy Piper
2. The Rock
In my mind, Batista and The Rock are the clear top two. A big factor is whether you prefer Batista’s zen or The Rock’s smoldering. It’s tough to weigh the acting art form versus being a box office star. As a movie star, The Rock is so far ahead of the rest by miles and miles that there is no way they can smell what he’s cooking. As an actor, I’m siding slightly with Batista in the top spot. I can totally see Gunn’s description of Batista. He always feels like he is the person on screen and not just a character.
For the rest, Piper’s charisma carried well to his films, Austin’s performances always interested me as an ass-kicker, and Ventura is a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus. That alone means The Body deserves a spot.
Let the discussion begin! Name your top 5 wrestling actors.